So, there is marginally no investment in the production of desi rock albums, mainly due to two reasons – Lack of money that labels wish to put in; and Bollywood!! But then again, looking at the increasing number of gigs taking place, one can safely say, a large following of the desi culture has somewhat arrived. Apart from the biggies who have somehow managed to grab some record labels or have managed to catch the eyes of producers, there really hasn’t been a way to promote this music as such – except of course, free downloads and giveaways, piracy and Myspace.
For psychedelics and headbangers like me, there has been hardly any decent compilation of Indian Rock songs for quite sometime, until I bumped into ‘India Rocks’! Released by EMI, ‘India Rocks’ is a cool collection of seventeen of the hottest Indian Rock bands that will surely leave you asking for more. The album boasts of big daddies of Indian Rock such as Parikrama, Pentagram, Thermal And A Quarter, Menwhopause, Indigo Children and Them Clones to name a few. These finest bands in the circuit enthrall you with their adrenaline rushing and soul stirring music. Get ready to Rock and Roll!
‘India Rocks’ opens with Pentagram’s ‘This is for My People,’ an eclectic composition by Randolph, Shiraz, Papal and Vishal that sets the mood for a Rock fest! A true blend of Rock/Electronica, ‘This is for My People’ is an energetic number that swallows you straightaway into some real action!
The second track is Parikrama’s ‘But it Rained,’ one of the most popular songs from one of the oldest and the most popular of all Indian Rock bands. The song is dedicated to the mindless abductions that took place in a terrorism struck Kashmir Valley during the nineties. Powerful music and soulful lyrics are the essence of this number. Complete with anthemic riffs and solos, this number is an all time favourite among Rock aficionados.
The third number of ‘India Rocks’ ‘Nada Nada’ is taken from Malayali band Avial, which blends Malayali poetry with contemporary Rock and a dash of Electronica – quite true to its name! A fast emerging name in Malayali Rock, Avial transcends genres with its unique sound space that transports you to a different level. Exquisite bass works, powerful hooks and electrifying solos with effective vocals are the underscore of ‘Nada Nada’ – a metalhead’s delight!
The fourth song includes Raghu Dixit’s ‘Khidki,’ a Hindi number with a Bluesy feel. Essentially a love song, ‘Khidki’ is a sweet number that narrates the yearning for a loved one! Well, after a heavy dose of Rock, let this mellifluous romantic ballad do its magic!
The fifth number ‘Ganga’ is taken from Mrigya, an Indian band that represents a global village sans any boundaries. True to its identity, in ‘Ganga’, Mrigya composes a unique song that blends East and West. A song that harmonized Western Rock and Indian ragas in a soothing fashion, the cadence of ‘Ganga’ is truly inspiring.
The sixth track of ‘India Rocks’ ‘Ghir Ghir’ is taken from Advaita, an upcoming band from New Delhi that has become one of the most respected acts in the circuit. ‘Ghir Ghir’ essentially is a mélange of various textures, styles and moods that beautifully evoke the magic of dark clouds and monsoon which all of a sudden stirs up the pining for a beloved. ‘Ghir Ghir’ is truly a wonderful song that infects you with its positive energy.
The seventh song is Swarthama’s ‘Pyar Ke Rang,’ a Folk/Rock number that is a smooth blend of Indian and Western influences. Celebrated for its electrifying live acts, Swarthama’s ‘Pyar Ke Rang’ will instantaneously pull you out from the shell of despondency, making you jive to the sound of music, breaking a smile on your face.
Eighth number is Punkh’s ‘Yunajaa’, a Bluesy Hindi number that opens with a stirring solo work and a whiff of metal rap. The band described ‘Yunajaa’ as an anti-suicide track written way back in the year 2007. Bordering on hope and faith, ‘Yunajaa’ is just about okay.
The ninth track of ‘India Rocks’ is Para Vayu’s ‘Rush Hour’, a song that brings back the classic Rock sound and merges it with Blues, Funk, Alternative and Jazz Rock. Essentially a guitar piece, ‘Rush Hour’ sets the tempo with a clean riff that breaks into an amazing heavily distorted solo of great legerdemain.
The tenth number is Something Relevant’s ‘Aha.’ A seven-member Mumbai based band, Something Relevant’s ‘Aha’ is funky Jazz number – a groovy ballad to which you can let your hair down, even while its music grows on you.
The eleventh song ‘Words and Pictures’ is from Thermal And A Quarter (TAAQ). A melodious Jazz number, ‘Words and Pictures’ gradually takes control of your senses, while its steady pace and foot-tapping rhythm works its wonders!
The twelfth number ‘I Am’ is a popular song from Soulmate, a Shillong based band whose inimitable sound space is heavily inspired by Blues, Soul, Rock and Roll, Blues-Rock, R&B and Funk. ‘I Am’ instantly takes you into the zone with its contagiously hip Blues-Rock intonation while setting the pace for an enthralling experience. Enjoy the thrill!
The thirteenth song is Chennai based band Junkyard Groove’s ‘It’s Ok.’ With ‘It’s OK’, Ameeth Thomas, Siddharth Srinivasan and Craig Maxworth create a good old Rock and Roll song. A sprightly number, ‘It’s Ok’ is a catchy and hummable song that oozes with warmth and zest for life.
The fourteenth track ‘Fly Away’ from Menwhopause opens with a drum roll and rhythmic guitar effects. An exceedingly spirited number, ‘Fly Away’ is packed with punch that incredibly suits Rock and Roll addicts. And hey, don’t forget the awesome guitar shredding at the end of the number that simply blows you away!
The fifteenth song is Medusa’s ‘I Become I.’ A Mumbai based live Electronic act that mainly uses vocals, drums, guitars, bass and samples to create the magic of music, Medusa’s ‘I Become I’ is a short and breezy track.
The sixteenth number is Indigo Children’s ‘Irresistible.’ True to its name, Indigo Children’s ‘Irresistible’ is truly an enticing number by the Delhi based Rock band renowned for its deft compositions. ‘Irresistible’ offers unique experience with its Rock and Electronic feel. ‘Irresistible’ is one of the popular numbers by Indigo Children and a must listen track!
‘India Rocks’ album ends with a wonderful track, ‘The Bomb Song’ by Them Clones. Written by Gucci Singh and music by Them Clones, the song is a heady mix of profound lyrics, anthemic hooks and soul stirring vocals that reverberate with ‘Long Live the Dead!’ while you gasp for breath; in all, a great number to end this great album.
Overall, the album is a great compilation and a much-needed one – for those who love Indian Rock and those who wish to know more about them.
So, does India Rock? Oh yes, it does.